Working with Narcissistic Dynamics

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Organised by:

Tavistock Relationships

05 October 2024

Time: 14:00 - 17:30

Price: £90.00 (£76.50 Trainee/NHS)

Location: online


With Nancy McWilliams, PhD & ABPP

The professional consensus is that narcissistic patients are difficult to treat. They often present with an internal emptiness and despair, envious aggression, incapacity to love, tendencies toward idealization and devaluation, and vulnerability to shame. Although narcissistic dynamics are universal and often benign, their excesses and enactments, for example narcissistic rage, can do significant interpersonal and social harm. The high interpersonal costs of narcissism make it an urgent clinical concern.

Dr McWilliams will explore narcissistic dynamics using case examples, covering the range from normal to highly pathological versions of narcissistic psychology, including Kernberg’s “malignant narcissist”, Cooper’s “narcissistic-masochistic” character, and Shaw’s “traumatic narcissist”. She will discuss highly arrogant clients as well as those who present with more hidden, covert manifestations of problematic narcissism.

The etiology of narcissistic dynamics will be explored, along with some reasons that narcissistically impelled clients are highly susceptible to feeling shamed. Such dynamics can make it challenging for clinicians to keep them engaged in therapy.

The first session will offer an overview with the final two sessions devoted to treatment approaches to support clinicians working with this population.

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